By Adedapo Adesanya
The makers of Indomie noodles, Tolaram Group, which has built its presence in Africa through noodles, cereals, and infrastructure, is looking to leverage its African distribution network to launch into the digital banking space.
Though the company is yet decide where to start its African venture, it has countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and South Africa in mind for the business due to its effective distribution network and reach in those nations.
In Asia, the company has been operating in the growing financial technology market with its mobile credit offering initiative via Bank Amar in Indonesia, where loans of almost $300 million have been disbursed to about 300,000 customers. The firm plans to use this model in Africa when it gets the operating licence.
Tolaram’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sajen Aswani, said that since the 1940s, the company has entered into about 100 businesses, with that about 75 percent of the projects failing.
Now, with its sight set on digital banking, which has less than 30 percent success rate globally, this may prove a big challenge for the company which entered into the African market space in the 1970s through real estate and consumer goods.
However, it was analysed that Tolaram will slowly penetrate fintech by making its distributors the first subscribers to their digital banking platform by directing procurement and sales payments there. These distributors, in turn, serve as a platform for indirect marketing for the deeper penetration into the digital banking space.
According to Mr Kunal Adnani, Head of Tolaram’s Mergers and Acquisitions team, the group will be looking to leverage the same technology and system into the African market.
“We have access to thousands of distributors in these markets and that can also have a knock-on effect on our business. The more credit we can give them, the more they can increase volumes.”
“What we’re looking to do is take the same technology, the same systems, and the same learning into African markets where we have a presence, albeit in a very different area,” he said.
If it introduces its platform into the Nigerian fintech space, which attracted $122 million in funds in 2019, it may have to drag the space with top firms like Kuda, Carbon, Aella Credit, PayStack, Wallets, PiggyVest, OPay among others already in the ecosystem.
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